Tomorrow I will turn 32 and I get to leave 31 behind. I am glad. Relieved. Excited.
It’s not that this has been an actual ‘bad’ year. I am ridiculously lucky in the hand life has dealt me and how I’ve played it. Still, compared to others, this wasn’t one for the books. I’ll be so bold as to call it shitty.
Except it was the good kind of shitty that helped me learn a lot, the kinds of things that can only be learned when the chips are down and big choices have to be made or fold. I don’t fold. I believe that so much of happiness in life is in the accidental and the unexpected, but I also believe that sometimes we have to make our own happiness. We have to decide we deserve it and then venture out and do whatever it takes to get it. Which can be scary until I think of the alternative.
Every year on New Years Eve I practice recapitulations and given this past year, it seemed appropriate to move it up and do it tonight on the eve of my birthday. A recapitulation is a summary or concise review.
…or the idea that we cannot put our energy into the future when it is still focused on the past
I believe it is important to give voice all moments in life, both good and bad. Especially bad. They need to be given their moment and recognized because life is shaped by those moments and what we decide to do with them. I am a runner by nature. I run from problems and conflict and I find I would so much rather forget about awkward moments or heartbreak or loneliness and brush them aside and tell myself I am all right, which is exactly how I handled a lot of those moments this year. Except they cannot be forgotten and sometimes I wasn’t all right. I forged ahead even when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I made it. I will keep making it. And now, at a safe distance, I can look back and see what I learned from it all. I can take stock and decide where to go from here. I wrote down the biggest moments from my year on slips of paper. I sat outside in the cold, frosty night and I read them and I thought of how shitty each one was but I also thought about what I learned from them and where I’ll go from here. Ceremoniously, I burned each one and watched as it turned to ash. Then I wrote down three wishes for my new year and I thought about them and what I am going to do to get them. I burned each of them and their ashes mixed in with the others. Because life is all of those things and I am who I am because of all of those things.
When I was 6, I assumed being 32 would be so much easier. It’s not. It is WAY harder, but I wouldn’t give up the adventure for anything, even with all the shitty obstacles.
To 32! Let’s do this.